The Whistler Arts Council (WAC) announced its summer workshop lineup Monday (March 11) and it promises a diverse selection of interactive programming for aspiring painters, drawers, photographers and weavers run by established instructors in an idyllic setting at the Alta Lake Station House.
The Whistler Art Workshops On the Lake have been held for the past eight years, running from May to August and ranging in length from one to three-day courses. Each workshop is limited to a dozen participants, allowing for a hands-on experience.
“We started out just offering visual arts, and our intent was always to expand it and offer things like photography or pottery or basket weaving, and really start to use the inspiring beautiful landscape and backdrop we have in Whistler in the summer,” said the WAC’s executive director Doti Niedermayer.
Returning this year is instructor Suzanne Northcott, who will teach about working in different mediums and using light effectively; painter Lori Goldberg will show beginner painters how to work with acrylics and Gaye Adams will run the Speed Painting with a Live Model course.
Veteran painter and drawing instructor Grant Fuller, local photographer Jeffrey Boyce, whose course will be based out of Millennium Place, and weaver Cheryl Massey, at The Point Artist-Run Centre, will also offer their expertise.
WAC challenged instructors to think outside the box with their workshops this year and added Salt Spring Island basket weaver Joan Carrigan, Iranian-born painter Nurieh Mozaffari, prolific Copenhagen-based author and illustrator Heather Spears and local mixed media artist and Whistler Art Workshops On the Lake alumni Lisa Geddes to the 2013 program.
“The intent of the workshops is to offer courses for local artists to get professional training in their own town from instructors from across B.C. and Canada,” said Niedermayer. “We wanted to bring in more senior artists to give professional instruction to emerging and mid-life artists that live in Whistler, so they don’t always have to take art classes out of town.”
The majority of the workshops are offered at the rustic Alta Lake Station House near Wayside Park, offering participants a serene, scenic environment to learn.
“It’s an old ‘70s house on the other side of West Side Road and it provides this incredible alternative place to be in Whistler,” said Niedermayer. “You’re in The Village with all the fancy restaurants, the Stroll and beautiful hotels and then you go to the Alta Lake Station House and it’s sort of like walking back into the ‘70s in this beautiful setting right on the lake. People get to see the whole other side of Whistler that is much more rustic, unique and harkens back to the town’s beginnings.”
Niedermayer hopes the courses will bring visitors to the resort looking for a more cultural experience in the summer.
“We wanted to offer a cultural tourism program by providing art workshops by artists that actually have a following, a name and a profile. What happens is that these artists we invite to Whistler also bring with them people to take the workshops,” she said. “We’re trying to create a diversity of offerings for visitors to Whistler.”
Registration opens Thursday (March 14) at 9 a.m. and the arts council suggests participants sign up early as spots are limited and typically fill up quickly. Participants who register before March 31 can win a $200 gift certificate to put toward another WAC workshop in the 2013 or 2014 season.
The Summit Lodge is the official accommodation sponsor for this year’s workshops and is offering discounted room rates for registrants.
Visit www.artswhistler.com for more details and the full schedule of this summer’s workshops.